But because academia is only beginning to study the phenomenon—Sheff's study is too recent to have drawn conclusions about the children's well-being over time—there is little data to support that notion in court.
Today, the nonprofit Polyamory Society posts a warning to parents on its Web site: If your Poly Family has children, please do not put your children and family at risk by coming out to the public or by being interviewed [by] the press!
If Scott starts feeling neglected, he can call the woman he's been dating casually on the side.
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It's these dynamics that have made polyamory, as longtime poly advocate Anita Wagner puts it, "the political football in the culture war as it relates to same-sex marriage."Polys themselves are not visibly crusading for their civil rights.
But there is one policy issue rousing concern: legal precedents concerning their ability to parent.
His mother, Vera, looks over and smiles; she's there with her boyfriend, Larry.
Suddenly it starts to rain, and the group must move inside.
A couple years later, Scott introduced her to Larry, a software developer at Microsoft, and the two quickly fell in love, with Scott's assent.
The three have been living together for a decade now, but continue to date others casually on the side.
Today there are poly blogs and podcasts, local get-togethers, and an online polyamory magazine called Loving More with 15,000 regular readers.
Celebrities like actress Tilda Swinton and Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, have voiced support for nonmonogamy, while Greenan herself has become somewhat of an unofficial spokesperson, as the creator of a comic Web series about the practice—called "Family"—that's loosely based on her life.
Keep up with this story and more It's enough to make any monogamist's head spin. Researchers are just beginning to study the phenomenon, but the few who do estimate that openly polyamorous families in the United States number more than half a million, with thriving contingents in nearly every major city.